2020 INNO-vation Disruptive Challenger
In order to help those who have lost their voices due to laryngeal and pharyngeal cancer, we have developed and subsequently improved in the INNO-vation Program a hands-free wearable device called Syrinx that lets its user become able to speak again using only lip movement. There were three main points within the Disruptive Challenge.
The first was having users actually try out the device and listen to their feedback. We asked a child who had lost his voice due to Chronic Lung Disease to try out the Syrinx to reply at his graduation ceremony. In order to let him use it comfortably, we selected the material for the buckle and strap that fits around the neck, and we modified the circuitry to be more user-friendly. He was very happy about it and is still using it to this day.
The second point was the positioning of the oscillator and the effect it had on responses. The best area of the neck to place the device to produce a loud voice differs by person. We tried using existing body analysis applications and pressure gauges to see if there was some sort of law governing these principles, but we were unable to uncover anything.
The third point was to reduce the amount of leftover vibration sound caused by the oscillators. Tests were performed by covering the device with rubber and gel, though they didn't go as well as hoped. A lot of mistakes were made, but we're making the most of it now in the current R&D phase!
Syrnix, Leader / Engineer
Born in Tokorozawa City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan in July 1995
Graduated from Keio Shonan-Fujisawa Junior and Senior High School in March 2014
Entered the Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University in April 2014
Graduated from the Faculty of Science and Technology's Department of Information and Computer Science, Keio University in March 2018
Served as Technical Staff at RIKEN's Laboratory for Language Development from May 2018 to March 2019
Entered a master's course at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Systems Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo in April 2019
Began development of the Synrix Project in July 2019
Placed Top 3 in the Microsoft Imagine Cup World Championship in May 2020
Placed Top 20 in the James Dyson Award and received first prize within Japan in October 2020
Selected in the GUGEN Grand Prix, December 2020
Graduated from a master's course at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Systems Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo in March 2021
Advanced to a doctoral course at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Systems Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo in April 2021